Helminth infection can reduce the severity of inflammatory bowel disease. However, the modulatory mechanisms elicited by helminth infection are not yet fully understood and vary depending on the experimental model. Herein we evaluated the effect of acute infection of BALB/c mice with Strongyloides venezuelensis on the clinical course of ulcerative colitis induced by Dextran Sulfate Sodium (DSS) treatment of these animals. For the experiments, S. venezuelensis-infected BALB/c mice were treated orally with 4% DSS solution for seven days. As controls, we used untreated S. venezuelensis infected, DSS-treated uninfected, and untreated/uninfected BALB/c mice. During DSS treatment, mice from the different groups were compared with regards to the clinical signs related to the severity of colitis and intestinal inflammation. Mice acutely infected with S. venezulensis and treated with DSS had reduced clinical score, shortening of the colon, and tissue inflammation. Moreover, DSS-treated and infected mice showed reduced IL-4, INF-γ, and IL-17 levels and increase of IL-10 production in the colon and/or in the supernatant of mesenteric lymph nodes cell cultures that resulted in lower eosinophil peroxidase and myeloperoxidase activity in colon homogenates, when compared with DSS-treated uninfected mice. DSS-treated infected mice also preserved the intestine architecture and had normal differentiation of goblet cells and mucus production in the colon mucosa. In conclusion, the data indicate that the clinical improvement reported in DSS-treated infected mice was accompanied by the lower production of Th1/Th2/Th17 pro-inflammatory cytokines, stimulation of IL-10, and induction of mucosal repair mechanisms.
Keywords: Colon inflammation; DSS-induced colitis; Mucus production; Strongyloides venezuelensis-induced modulation, regulatory cytokine.
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